Tag Archives: love

winter

Let’s keep the words to a minimum and just focus on some beach-side pictures. This is Australia. In the winter.
Eww. Just… Ewwwww. Amiright?

DSC_1762
DSC_1754
DSC_1779
DSC_1770
DSC_1771
DSC_1750
DSC_1783
These tiny little holes in the rocks FASCINATE me. It’s like who-ville in there. A whole nother world.

DSC_1782
Also: Highlight of the weekend: I went to look for whales… and i saw DOLPHINS!!! (Whales woulda been cool… since I can speak whale and all… but I will see them next week… when I go WHALLLLE WATCHINNNNNNGGGG) (said in an Oprah voice)

DSC_1730-Edit
eeeeeeeeeeee!

xxx

 

Advertisement

13 Comments

Filed under Adventures in Australia

blueberry scones

DSC_1212 copy

I get into grooves a lot. Grooves… or habits. Habits or routines. Routines… or slightly OCD behaviour.

Like that period in my life during high school when it took me 30 minutes to complete my extensive bed time routine, which involved the opening and closing and locking and double checking of every door in my house.

Like that time from kindergarten to grade 4 when I cried everyday before school.

Like that time when I compulsively saved every cent to buy a wiener dog.

These grooves/habits/routines apply to my eating as well.

Like that time when I ate only Just Right breakfast cereal –  for every meal. I craved it so bad… it was… Just Right. And here’s the kicker – I ate it dry. Yeah no milk for this girl. I would pour literally two cups of cereal in a ziploc bag with a spoon and take it to work for dinner. This went on for months. And then one day I just wasn’t eating it anymore. Haven’t had any since, actually. (Put on list of things to do for when I visit Toronto)

And then there was that time I only ate avocado on toast with tomato. Oh wait… that one is still going on.

And of course there was that summer that I made scones like every three days. That was by popular demand though. The demand from Sean.

3DSC_1174

Anyway, it seems like I get into routines but then I drop them suddenly without reason and never look back. I haven’t made scones in what feels like forever. So this recipe had to happen.

1DSC_1204

It should happen for you too regardless of your current food routines.

2DSC_1225

Sean loves it when I stack my food.

Blueberry Scones
adapted from here

1 1/2 c. white flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/3 c. raw sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. coconut milk
1 c. blueberries

Preheat oven to 425*F. Sift the flour together with the baking powder and then mix in the salt and sugar. Now add cold coconut milk and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries or fruit of choice and gather the dough into a loose ball. Turn dough onto a floured surface and form into a circle or square or rectangle or whatever about 3/4 inch thick and cut out 8-10 scones in whatever shape you please, traingles, circles, it don’t matter. Brush some extra coconut milk on top and sprinkle with extra sugar.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake for 15 minutes – 20 minutes or until golden brown.

4DSC_1243 copy

xxx

6 Comments

Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

Good things…

Think about all the things in life worth celebrating. I mean the big things!

Let’s brainstorm:

-Birthdays

-Weddings

-New / Dream Jobs

-Births

I suppose those are the biggest ones in my books. Now imagine, for a moment, that ALL of those things happened in the span of 5 days. Think of it.

Most. awesome. five. days. ever.

—Just last week:

A friend of mine in Toronto had a beautiful baby girl!

SO CUTE!

Another friend of mine in Toronto got hitched…

Amazing (and weird to see your friends be adults…)

A third friend of mine, here in Sydney, got a fantastic job offer…

Yesssssssss!

And that boyfriend of mine has achieved his primary goal in life… (I mean besides scooping up the finest lady Canada had to offer… bahaha)

Without going into too much detail, he has achieved something that he has been dreaming about since the ripe old age of 8. He is incredible and wonderful and no one else in the world deserves it more than him. I am infinitely proud of him and if you even bring up his name, I will brag about him for hours. It’s gross and totally annoying.

And last, but certainly not least… my lovely Grandpa celebrated a very special birthday this week. He turned 80! But I swear that man doesn’t look a day over 60! Right, Watson?

He is the coolest cat in town. He used to take my brother and I out to find jelly bellies and nutty butties. (These are of course jelly fish and small crabs found on the beach in Scotland.)

Here we all are during my brief visit home. My Grandparents are the best ever. EVER. They have killer accents… and just look at how hip they are. Yeah… My Grandpa has lacoste walking shoes. That’s real. And I’m pretty sure he’s on twitter.

Ok. maybe not. but they’re on facebook for sure. 🙂

Anyway, by the end of last week I was beyond excited about life. Just wanted to share the love.

xxx

4 Comments

Filed under Adventures in Australia

on the outs…

Sydney and I had a falling out.

To say that the relationship was strained would be an understatement. It began a couple months ago. I started to resent Sydney. I couldn’t understand it, why one city had to be so far away from my family. Toronto is my home and it always will be. I was angry at Sydney. I had a couple of tantrums during which I stamped my feet and I proclaimed that I wasn’t in love anymore. Sometimes you just fall out of love. It happens. My reasons were weak, but they were adding up; the cockroaches, the cold apartments, the untimely buses. It was all too much.

Sydney and I were on the outs.

And then as fate would have it, I had the opportunity to go home for a week. Just one week. It was not specifically to escape Sydney, I had family matters to attend to; but I think it was good to have some separation. It’s what every relationship needs once and a while.

So Sydney and I took some time apart.

But then I returned… And Sydney hadn’t let up. It was still a million miles* away from home which had become blatantly obvious from my 30 hour trek. True, I saw less cockroaches and yes, the apartment was warming up, but I still wasn’t convinced.

I still had feelings for Sydney, but they were confused.

And then one day I was on the ferry. I took a look around and I breathed in the salty ocean air. I looked across the harbour to see the bridge against a sunset sky and I thought “Hey Sydney, you’re not so bad.”

I had an overwhelming feeling of love. And I suppose sometimes that is all it takes. A little sea breeze and some perspective. From a ferry in the Sydney harbour. Because how many people get to take that perspective?

I live in Sydney. It’s a fact. It probably won’t always be that way though. And when it all changes, I will miss the ferries, I will miss the bridge, I will miss the salty air.

Sure, cockroaches run a muck in this city, but I’ll tell ya one thing; I haven’t seen one centipede scurry across my floor. And my nazi-like cleaning habits have been amped up in an effort to keep the cockroaches at bay.

And true enough, there is no central heating anywhere apart from the yoga room. So yes, my apartment is cold. But I brought extra sweaters back from Canada and for Christ sake… I AM Canadian. Come on Hicks, suck it up.

And… well the buses will never change. So I’ll start riding my bike.

And yes. OK. It’s a million miles away from Toronto, but a trip is a trip. No matter how long. If family comes first, which it most certainly does, then no amount of plane trips or dollars spent on flights will keep me away. In the grand scheme of things 30 hours is not the end of the world.

So Sydney, I propose a truce. I will stop resenting you if you promise work on that continental drift thing.

Ok, sweet.

xxx

*Sydney is actually 15, 562 miles from Toronto. Fact.

1 Comment

Filed under Adventures in Australia

broke into the old apartment…

This is where we used to live…

42 steps from the street.

So this is the old apartment. And for the record, I did not break into it. Come on… BNL references anyone? YES! (My next post is going to be pictures of ‘me in grade nine’… get it?) No? You DIDN’T used to stalk Ed Robertson? Well this is awkward…

Back to the apartment.

I don’t think I ever posted proper picture of it. I made sure to take some before we started packing up.

It was our first apartment together.

It was my first apartment period.

It was my first home that didn’t also house my parents.

It was the first home I ever paid money to live in.

It was a first. That’s for sure.

why did you paint the walls?

It was cozy. Not small.

It was compact. Not cramped.

It was New York-sized. Yes. How chic.

It was a studio. A bachelor. It was a badass place to dwell.

why did you keep the dish rack?

It had water ‘glimpses’… if you stood in the bedroom and viewed them through the mirrored wall, at an angle, and through the neighbour’s balcony.

It took about 30 minutes to clean from top to bottom.

It was centrally located.

It was perfect, with all its imperfections. I loved it.

this is where we used to live…

But we’ve moved. For many reasons. Maybe we do need a little more space. Maybe a wall here and there isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe a kitchen with a four element stove top and a full sized fridge isn’t so bad.

Maybe we don’t have any water glimpses… but we DO have a cockatoo that helps us make breakfast.

duncan

Scratch that, we have four.

the birdies!

They’re determined. And a wee bit cheeky.

They reach for crumpets and tomatoes on the windowsill. They jut out with beaks with such confidence and each time are surprised to discover a magical invisible force field hindering them from reaching the food. It is of course, the window. But that doesn’t deter them.

If at first you don’t succeed…

baaaaaaaaahahhahaha

We were greeted by only one, but he soon invited his posse. Anyway, we named him Duncan, he is the feistiest.

the duncs.

They are loud and they are bold. I love them already.

Recipes from the new kitchen to come once I sort my internet out… I may or may not be sitting in an outdoor mall in the rain taking advantage of free wi-fi in order to post this.

Ahaha. May or may not.

And I may or may not be going home to continue watching season one of The OC. Which may or may not belong to my boyfriend. Say. word.

I think we belong together.

Stay Jazzy.

xxx

(And stay warm. and dry. Will this rain ever stop?)

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures in Australia

mom

You know what’s the best? Moms. Moms are the best.

this is my mom

More specifically, my Mom. I’m sure your mom is okay, but my Mom… my Mom in the best. She’s infinitely cooler than any other Mom. She’s my best friend.

I wasn’t exactly a dream child, I don’t think. I wasn’t a nightmare either… but I suppose I had my moments. I wasn’t one for throwing tantrums, but I diiiid cry before school every single morning for longer than I’d care to admit. I also refused to eat breakfast and I’d push my dinner around my plate for at least an hour every night. You know what else? I never once stayed at a sleep over past midnight. I think I was probably 13 before I actually spent a night away from home willingly. And do you know why I never wanted to partake in sleepovers? Even when all the other girls were braiding each others hair, eating sugar and talking about boys? And why I cried every morning before going to school?

Because I missed my mom.

Talk about major separation anxiety.

But honestly, if you knew my Mom, you’d cry upon separation too! She is the coolest lady I have ever met.

coolest lady ever and kind of a fox. just saying.

She is the best at cheering me up. She’s awesome for watching trashy tv with and she’s really good at eating cereal for dinner with me. She is an excellent Yoga partner and an even more excellent post-yoga coffee partner. She will help you dye your hair blue when you’re going through your teenage rebellion phase. And she will drive you to and from the photography shop approximately 154 times when your school projects are falling to pieces. She throws the best birthday parties ever and will help you create the best halloween costumes on the block. She makes a mean carrot cake and an even meaner fruit tray. Just ask any of my friends.

She’s also a real keeper cause when you move to Australia, she will save up all her money and fly across the world to see you. For seven weeks.

Yep. That’s her. I can’t really even put into words how much I love my Mom. She’s a pretty incredible lady.

Happy Mother’s Day MOMMMMMMMM!

If I was in Toronto today… I would make her this for dessert:

rice pudding!

And these for later when we’re on the couch inevitably watching Say Yes to the Dress:

peppermint patty

xo

ps. Just for good measure can I add this child hood photo? Humour me. This is my brother an I dressed as none other than Batman and Robin. But you know that right? Spitting image, I tell ya.

batman and boy wonder

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

putting the *mint* back in entertainmint

It was my last day in Melbourne. I had a lunch break of over an hour, which was just enough time for me to take a last stroll through the city. As I approached Elizabeth street, I thought to myself… ‘one last attempt at finding the spandex-clad man that I know and love.’ So I ventured a bit further up Elizabeth, having heard that he often breaks it down in the Bourke street mall.

Well, low and behold, as I approached the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth, I didn’t even need to see anything to know it was him, I could hear his boom box from half a block away… and as the tram pulled away, there he was. In all his tight and bright glory, the only other Canadian I knew of in the city… Spandy Andy.

spandy!

An absolute vision in neon spandex.

tight, bright and everything in between

What a legend, just strutting his stuff around the world, spreading nothing but smiles.

adorable

It took me a couple minutes to calm myself. I had literally been willing myself to bump into this man for two weeks… It was pure fate that I ended up catching his little street show on my very last day. I was pumped. And I had to approach him and say hello. I gave a wee shout out to Bikram Yoga Toronto and also my mom. He was very sweet… and awfully sweaty.

some canuck love right there.

I leave you with one of my fondest memories from the streets of Melbourne.

xxx

1 Comment

Filed under Adventures in Australia

Vegan Eats, Sunsets, Cradle Mountain and one Alpaca

In all honesty, I could probably write 2 or 3 more posts on this Tasmania adventure. However, I feel that people might liken it to a vacation slideshow, ya know? Like I tell you every detail of our vacation and you sit there reading my endless rambles, but really only wanting to look at a couple pictures here and there. Cause that’s all anyone really wants, right? The pictures? And not EVERY picture, (organized chronologically and explained in length by your truly…) No, you want a highly edited photo journal of just the highlights and best moments. Maybe with a point form note here or there. I understand. No offense taken.

I will spare you any further sneezing escapades and just get down to the good stuff. The good stuff being: Wombats.

But first… Melbourne!

Sean and I at half price cocktail hour!

Hostel bar...

Then on to dinner. Melbourne has the best selection of vegetarian food I’ve ever seen.

the vegie bar...

and the best Vegan food I have ever tasted. Eva.

all vegan, all awesome

So much deliciousness.

Next up: Jazz bar in an alley!

jazz... only it was contemporary... not really our scene.

The next day, the Spirit of Tasmania awaited us.

cabin and sunsets!

We had a great time getting used to our sea legs… and then I went mental on out of focus sunset shots. Cause the colours were pretty.

...

Once in Tasmania, first stop was Cradle Mountain. but before we got there… we found a random man with a lovely lama. Or was it an Alpaca?

Once at Cradle Mountain, we opted out of camping and into a delightful little cabin smack dab in the middle of the national park.

Waldheim Cabins

Wildlife everywhere!

how is this NOT adorable! Love.

Shweeet…

On the second day, Sean and I conquered Cradle Mountain. Ha-mazing.

CONQUERED!

After Cradle… well there is more to come, but I’m sorry. After spending the better half of two days editing down images and still having about 60 odd that I wanted to post… well I’ll have to split it into two. But I promise that’s it!

🙂

See ya soon!

xxx

 

1 Comment

Filed under Adventures in Australia

City2Surf…

This past Sunday was the long awaited City 2 Surf 14 km run in Sydney.

city2surf

I have been waiting for this run for ages. Literally, over a year. I was so excited to register this year and I was determined to train and run a really good time. I was aiming for a time that seemed almost out of reach; 75 Minutes.

bibs... lucky number (665)11!

The last race I ran was in… 2006? I think. It was the Toronto Half-marathon. I finished a couple minutes over 2 hours and I was shattered. I reallllly wanted to break 2 hours, but such is life. I was super stressed that year, starting university, working 30 hours a week and training for a half marathon. I took on way too much…

Well anyway, when the City 2 Surf came along, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to train up and set a rather ambitious goal. This race has got to be one of the biggest in the world. (But don’t quote me on that.) (No wait… you can quote me on that. I looked it up.) They had to cut off the entries a couple of weeks ago because 85,000 people had registered. And I was one of them. The race starts in the Sydney CBD and winds its way down to Bondi Beach. It’s kind of a big deal.

I didn’t actually end up training as much as I wanted to. True, I’ve been running about 6 days a week, however I haven’t ran more than 10km at a time. Usually, I would just do 5kms and call it a day. Needless to say, I’ve been a  little bit anxious the last couple days because I knew my goal time was slightly out of reach. I quietly changed it to ‘I’m aiming to break 80 minutes.’

Suddenly, the day was upon us. On Sunday morning I woke at 6am, had a cup of tea, a date stuffed with peanut butter, braided my hair, laced up my shoes and we caught a bus into the City.

pre-race jitters

My stomach was a little bit in knots. I needed a bathroom about 3 times before the race even started. Just to be safe. And even then, I had to pee from kilometer 1. Oh jeeez.

Sean and I crossed the starting line together, started our watches and then we went our own ways. As in – he sprinted ahead and I sneakily followed him for about 1/2 km.

The biggest challenge of this race is what the Sydneysiders affectionately call ‘Heart Break Hill.’ Basically, it’s a 1km long hill that promises to break you before you’re even half-way through the race. Well Heartbreak my ass. I came and I conquered that mofo. I give credit to all those stairs I climb at work. And to Sydney for being a very hilly city in general. Every single run I go on has a heartbreak hill. Pft, child’s play.

Besides, the biggest challenge for me was the 85,000 people. I mean… that crowd didn’t thin out ONCE. I was constantly weaving through sweaty men and women. It was kind of annoying at first but it sort of turned into a game. I only shoulder checked a handful of people – BY ACCIDENT. And in true Canadian fashion I turned around and apologized profusely.

I didn’t look at my stopwatch at all during the race, but I felt strong and before I knew it I was at 10 km… then 11… and then I saw Bondi.

Bondi...

So the final result?! An unofficial time of 70 minutes and 4 seconds. DAMN YOU FOUR SECONDS! damn you.

the final time (ignore the fact that my ipod is still on toronto time)

Needless to say, I was pretty happy with these results. We’ll see what the Sydney Morning Herald says on Tuesday with my official race times according to the chip in my race bib.

weee...

After the race, Sean and I met up at a pre-determined spot, slightly out of the way, and drank some complimentary Gatorade and water.

why does my left eye squint more than my right eye?... MOM?! I guess it's not just my eye... this picture is unflattering in a lot of ways...

After a brief walk around Campbell Parade and a couple more bathroom breaks, we somehow managed to grab a table at one of the best cafe’s in Bondi. Trio. It was deliciousssss. Seriously good eating. Or maybe that was the 14 kilometers of hunger talking, I can’t know for sure.

trio coffee

However, I burned it off before we even made it home and I was hungry again.

carrot-sourdough toast, avocado, roast toe-ma-toe and jam...

All in all, it was an excellent day. I’ve had that running high for over 24 hours now, and I’m itching to do another race.

City2Sea anyone?

November 13th in Melbourne? Sign me up… This time I’m aiming for a sub 60 minutes.

bahahaha I kid I kid…

xxx

Leave a comment

Filed under Adventures in Australia, Breakfast

when life deprives you of lemons, make rice pudding

Note that I wrote this almost two year ago. But oh isn’t it fun to take a trip down memory lane… to a time when I used milk in my baking… haha

On to my day…

Today I woke up to an empty house and nothing to do. These are my favourite days by far. Only good things can come of an empty house. When no one else is home it means that a) I can have unlimited dance parties, b) I don’t have to wear pants, and c) I can combine the two and have a bloody amazing morning.

The only think I like more then my mornings alone is d) baking… sans pants whilst dancing. It fills me the joy. I would love to live on my own for that reason alone.

Anyhoo, point of the story is I woke up this morning and searched for a new recipe. My mother’s very favourite dessert is rice pudding and since it is her birthday I felt it was necessary to make something to her liking. I had my heart set on Lemon cake originally, but I had not a lemon in the house and no intentions of putting on pants to go buy some. So rice pudding would have to suffice.

The recipe was pretty simple and I just happened to have the correct kind of rice. Things were falling into place quite nicely. Then of course it all went wrong. Naturally.
However, the end result was quite to my liking, and my mother’s. And I have now altered the recipe I was using in order to accommodate for my failures. I have put the original words into parenthesis as to compare them to my alterations. Please leave your judgments at the door.

Arborio Rice Pudding

Serves 4

1/2 cup Arborio rice
4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, place all the ingredients except the vanilla extract. (Bring it to a gentle boil) Watch the saucepan like a hawk for about 3 minutes and 30 seconds until you become distracted by the Australian man in your computer screen. Then sufficiently forget that you have milk boiling on the stove and allow it to boil over the sides of the saucepan and onto your stove and element. Allow it to burn and harden. Notice only when your kitchen beings to smell of burnt milk, at which point you scream, curse, and remove the saucepan from the heat, switching it over to a less soiled element. (Turn it down to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom, for about 30 to 40 minutes.) Turn the element to what you think is a low enough heat to allow it to simmer, all the while still chatting with the Aussie. Keep a close eye on the stove for the next 5 minutes and then notice that once again, the milk is boiling over. Realize that you must lower the heat even more and do so. Say goodnight to the Aussie and return to the religious watching of the simmering milk. Allow mixture to thicken for 30-40 minutes. (Taste the rice to check for doneness. The rice should be very soft and plump.) This part I did to perfection.

Take the pudding off the heat and stir in the extract. Pour into dessert bowls. You can serve it immediately or let it chill in the fridge.

I did so. Adding cinnamon and raisins before serving. Oh sweet success, you taste of milk and sugar.

All in all, not a bad first try.

Leave a comment

Filed under Puddings